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Title 49Subtitle BChapter ISubchapter DPart 190 → Subpart D


Title 49: Transportation
PART 190—PIPELINE SAFETY ENFORCEMENT AND REGULATORY PROCEDURES


Subpart D—Procedures for Adoption of Rules


Contents
§190.301   Scope.
§190.303   Delegations.
§190.305   Regulatory dockets.
§190.307   Records.
§190.309   Where to file petitions.
§190.311   General.
§190.313   Initiation of rulemaking.
§190.315   Contents of notices of proposed rulemaking.
§190.317   Participation by interested persons.
§190.319   Petitions for extension of time to comment.
§190.321   Contents of written comments.
§190.323   Consideration of comments received.
§190.325   Additional rulemaking proceedings.
§190.327   Hearings.
§190.329   Adoption of final rules.
§190.331   Petitions for rulemaking.
§190.333   Processing of petition.
§190.335   Petitions for reconsideration.
§190.337   Proceedings on petitions for reconsideration.
§190.338   Appeals.
§190.339   Direct final rulemaking.
§190.341   Special permits.
§190.343   Information made available to the public and request for protection of confidential commercial information.

Source: Amdt. 190-8, 61 FR 50909, Sept. 27, 1996, unless otherwise noted.

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§190.301   Scope.

This subpart prescribes general rulemaking procedures for the issue, amendment, and repeal of Pipeline Safety Program regulations of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration of the Department of Transportation.

[Amdt. 190-8, 61 FR 50909, Sept. 27, 1996, as amended at 70 FR 11137, Mar. 8, 2005]

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§190.303   Delegations.

For the purposes of this subpart, Administrator means the Administrator, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, or his or her delegate.

[Amdt. 190-8, 61 FR 50909, Sept. 27, 1996, as amended at 70 FR 11137, Mar. 8, 2005]

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§190.305   Regulatory dockets.

(a) Information and data considered relevant by the Administrator relating to rulemaking actions, including notices of proposed rulemaking; comments received in response to notices; petitions for rulemaking and reconsideration; denials of petitions for rulemaking and reconsideration; records of additional rulemaking proceedings under §190.325; and final regulations are maintained by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration at 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE, Washington, D.C. 20590-0001.

(b) Once a public docket is established, docketed material may be accessed at http://www.regulations.gov. Public comments also may be submitted at http://www.regulations.gov. Comment submissions must identify the docket number. You may also examine public docket material at the offices of the Docket Operations Facility (M-30), U.S. Department of Transportation, West Building, First Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590. You may obtain a copy during normal business hours, excluding Federal holidays, for a fee, with the exception of material which the Administrator of PHMSA determines should be withheld from public disclosure under 5 U.S.C. 552(b) or any other applicable statutory provision.

[Amdt. 190-8, 61 FR 50909, Sept. 27, 1996, as amended at 70 FR 11137, 11139, Mar. 8, 2005; 73 FR 16566, Mar. 28, 2008; 73 FR 16568, Mar. 28, 2008]

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§190.307   Records.

Records of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration relating to rulemaking proceedings are available for inspection as provided in section 552(b) of title 5, United States Code, and part 7 of the Regulations of the Office of the Secretary of Transportation (part 7 of this title).

[Amdt. 190-8, 61 FR 50909, Sept. 27, 1996, as amended at 70 FR 11137, Mar. 8, 2005]

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§190.309   Where to file petitions.

Petitions for extension of time to comment submitted under §190.319, petitions for hearings submitted under §190.327, petitions for rulemaking submitted under §190.331, and petitions for reconsideration submitted under §190.335 must be submitted to: Administrator, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE, Washington, D.C. 20590-0001.

[Amdt. 190-8, 61 FR 50909, Sept. 27, 1996, as amended at 70 FR 11137, Mar. 8, 2005; 73 FR 16566, Mar. 28, 2008]

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§190.311   General.

Unless the Administrator, for good cause, finds that notice is impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest, and incorporates that finding and a brief statement of the reasons for it in the rule, a notice of proposed rulemaking is issued and interested persons are invited to participate in the rulemaking proceedings with respect to each substantive rule.

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§190.313   Initiation of rulemaking.

The Administrator initiates rulemaking on his or her own motion; however, in so doing, the Administrator may use discretion to consider the recommendations of other agencies of the United States or of other interested persons including those of any technical advisory body established by statute for that purpose.

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§190.315   Contents of notices of proposed rulemaking.

(a) Each notice of proposed rulemaking is published in the Federal Register, unless all persons subject to it are named and are personally served with a copy of it.

(b) Each notice, whether published in the Federal Register or personally served, includes:

(1) A statement of the time, place, and nature of the proposed rulemaking proceeding;

(2) A reference to the authority under which it is issued;

(3) A description of the subjects and issues involved or the substance and terms of the proposed regulation;

(4) A statement of the time within which written comments must be submitted; and

(5) A statement of how and to what extent interested persons may participate in the proceeding.

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§190.317   Participation by interested persons.

(a) Any interested person may participate in rulemaking proceedings by submitting comments in writing containing information, views or arguments in accordance with instructions for participation in the rulemaking document.

(b) The Administrator may invite any interested person to participate in the rulemaking proceedings described in §190.325.

(c) For the purposes of this subpart, an interested person includes any Federal or State government agency or any political subdivision of a State.

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§190.319   Petitions for extension of time to comment.

A petition for extension of the time to submit comments must be submitted to PHMSA in accordance with §190.309 and received by PHMSA not later than 10 days before expiration of the time stated in the notice. The filing of the petition does not automatically extend the time for petitioner's comments. A petition is granted only if the petitioner shows good cause for the extension, and if the extension is consistent with the public interest. If an extension is granted, it is granted to all persons, and it is published in the Federal Register.

[Amdt. 190-16, 78 FR 58914, Sept. 25, 2013]

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§190.321   Contents of written comments.

All written comments must be in English. Any interested person should submit as part of written comments all material considered relevant to any statement of fact. Incorporation of material by reference should be avoided; however, where necessary, such incorporated material must be identified by document title and page.

[Amdt. 190-16, 78 FR 58914, Sept. 25, 2013]

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§190.323   Consideration of comments received.

All timely comments and the recommendations of any technical advisory body established by statute for the purpose of reviewing the proposed rule concerned are considered before final action is taken on a rulemaking proposal. Late filed comments are considered so far as practicable.

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§190.325   Additional rulemaking proceedings.

The Administrator may initiate any further rulemaking proceedings that the Administrator finds necessary or desirable. For example, interested persons may be invited to make oral arguments, to participate in conferences between the Administrator or the Administrator's representative and interested persons, at which minutes of the conference are kept, to appear at informal hearings presided over by officials designated by the Administrator at which a transcript of minutes are kept, or participate in any other proceeding to assure informed administrative action and to protect the public interest.

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§190.327   Hearings.

(a) If a notice of proposed rulemaking does not provide for a hearing, any interested person may petition the Administrator for an informal hearing. The petition must be received by the Administrator not later than 20 days before expiration of the time stated in the notice. The filing of the petition does not automatically result in the scheduling of a hearing. A petition is granted only if the petitioner shows good cause for a hearing. If a petition for a hearing is granted, notice of the hearing is published in the Federal Register.

(b) Sections 556 and 557 of title 5, United States Code, do not apply to hearings held under this subpart. Unless otherwise specified, hearings held under this subpart are informal, non-adversarial fact-finding proceedings, at which there are no formal pleadings or adverse parties. Any regulation issued in a case in which an informal hearing is held is not necessarily based exclusively on the record of the hearing.

(c) The Administrator designates a representative to conduct any hearing held under this subpart. The Chief Counsel designates a member of his or her staff to serve as legal officer at the hearing.

[Amdt. 190-8, 61 FR 50909, Sept. 27, 1996. Redesignated and amended by Amdt. 190-16, 78 FR 58914, Sept. 25, 2013]

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§190.329   Adoption of final rules.

Final rules are prepared by representatives of the Office of Pipeline Safety and the Office of the Chief Counsel. The regulation is then submitted to the Administrator for consideration. If the Administrator adopts the regulation, it is published in the Federal Register, unless all persons subject to it are named and are personally served with a copy of it.

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§190.331   Petitions for rulemaking.

(a) Any interested person may petition the Associate Administrator for Pipeline Safety to establish, amend, or repeal a substantive regulation, or may petition the Chief Counsel to establish, amend, or repeal a procedural regulation.

(b) Each petition filed under this section must—

(1) Summarize the proposed action and explain its purpose;

(2) State the text of the proposed rule or amendment, or specify the rule proposed to be repealed;

(3) Explain the petitioner's interest in the proposed action and the interest of any party the petitioner represents; and

(4) Provide information and arguments that support the proposed action, including relevant technical, scientific or other data as available to the petitioner, and any specific known cases that illustrate the need for the proposed action.

(c) If the potential impact of the proposed action is substantial, and information and data related to that impact are available to the petitioner, the Associate Administrator or the Chief Counsel may request the petitioner to provide—

(1) The costs and benefits to society and identifiable groups within society, quantifiable and otherwise;

(2) The direct effects (including preemption effects) of the proposed action on States, on the relationship between the Federal Government and the States, and on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government;

(3) The regulatory burden on small businesses, small organizations and small governmental jurisdictions;

(4) The recordkeeping and reporting requirements and to whom they would apply; and

(5) Impacts on the quality of the natural and social environments.

(d) The Associate Administrator or Chief Counsel may return a petition that does not comply with the requirements of this section, accompanied by a written statement indicating the deficiencies in the petition.

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§190.333   Processing of petition.

(a) General. Unless the Associate Administrator or the Chief Counsel otherwise specifies, no public hearing, argument, or other proceeding is held directly on a petition before its disposition under this section.

(b) Grants. If the Associate Administrator or the Chief Counsel determines that the petition contains adequate justification, he or she initiates rulemaking action under this subpart.

(c) Denials. If the Associate Administrator or the Chief Counsel determines that the petition does not justify rulemaking, the petition is denied.

(d) Notification. The Associate Administrator or the Chief Counsel will notify a petitioner, in writing, of the decision to grant or deny a petition for rulemaking.

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§190.335   Petitions for reconsideration.

(a) Except as provided in §190.339(d), any interested person may petition the Associate Administrator for reconsideration of any regulation issued under this subpart, or may petition the Chief Counsel for reconsideration of any procedural regulation issued under this subpart and contained in this subpart. The petition must be received not later than 30 days after publication of the rule in the Federal Register. Petitions filed after that time will be considered as petitions filed under §190.331. The petition must contain a brief statement of the complaint and an explanation as to why compliance with the rule is not practicable, is unreasonable, or is not in the public interest.

(b) If the petitioner requests the consideration of additional facts, the petitioner must state the reason they were not presented to the Associate Administrator or the Chief Counsel within the prescribed time.

(c) The Associate Administrator or the Chief Counsel does not consider repetitious petitions.

(d) Unless the Associate Administrator or the Chief Counsel otherwise provides, the filing of a petition under this section does not stay the effectiveness of the rule.

[Amdt. 190-8, 61 FR 50909, Sept. 27, 1996. Redesignated and amended by Amdt. 190-16, 78 FR 58914, Sept. 25, 2013]

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§190.337   Proceedings on petitions for reconsideration.

(a) The Associate Administrator or the Chief Counsel may grant or deny, in whole or in part, any petition for reconsideration without further proceedings, except where a grant of the petition would result in issuance of a new final rule. In the event that the Associate Administrator or the Chief Counsel determines to reconsider any regulation, a final decision on reconsideration may be issued without further proceedings, or an opportunity to submit comment or information and data as deemed appropriate, may be provided. Whenever the Associate Administrator or the Chief Counsel determines that a petition should be granted or denied, the Office of the Chief Counsel prepares a notice of the grant or denial of a petition for reconsideration, for issuance to the petitioner, and the Associate Administrator or the Chief Counsel issues it to the petitioner. The Associate Administrator or the Chief Counsel may consolidate petitions relating to the same rules.

(b) It is the policy of the Associate Administrator or the Chief Counsel to issue notice of the action taken on a petition for reconsideration within 90 days after the date on which the regulation in question is published in the Federal Register, unless it is found impracticable to take action within that time. In cases where it is so found and the delay beyond that period is expected to be substantial, notice of that fact and the date by which it is expected that action will be taken is issued to the petitioner and published in the Federal Register.

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§190.338   Appeals.

(a) Any interested person may appeal a denial of the Associate Administrator or the Chief Counsel, issued under §190.333 or §190.337, to the Administrator.

(b) An appeal must be received within 20 days of service of written notice to petitioner of the Associate Administrator's or the Chief Counsel's decision, or within 20 days from the date of publication of the decision in the Federal Register, and should set forth the contested aspects of the decision as well as any new arguments or information.

(c) Unless the Administrator otherwise provides, the filing of an appeal under this section does not stay the effectiveness of any rule.

[Amdt. 190-8, 61 FR 50909, Sept. 27, 1996. Redesignated and amended by Amdt. 190-16, 78 FR 58914, Sept. 25, 2013]

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§190.339   Direct final rulemaking.

(a) Where practicable, the Administrator will use direct final rulemaking to issue the following types of rules:

(1) Minor, substantive changes to regulations;

(2) Incorporation by reference of the latest edition of technical or industry standards;

(3) Extensions of compliance dates; and

(4) Other noncontroversial rules where the Administrator determines that use of direct final rulemaking is in the public interest, and that a regulation is unlikely to result in adverse comment.

(b) The direct final rule will state an effective date. The direct final rule will also state that unless an adverse comment or notice of intent to file an adverse comment is received within the specified comment period, generally 60 days after publication of the direct final rule in the Federal Register, the Administrator will issue a confirmation document, generally within 15 days after the close of the comment period, advising the public that the direct final rule will either become effective on the date stated in the direct final rule or at least 30 days after the publication date of the confirmation document, whichever is later.

(c) For purposes of this section, an adverse comment is one which explains why the rule would be inappropriate, including a challenge to the rule's underlying premise or approach, or would be ineffective or unacceptable without a change. Comments that are frivolous or insubstantial will not be considered adverse under this procedure. A comment recommending a rule change in addition to the rule will not be considered an adverse comment, unless the commenter states why the rule would be ineffective without the additional change.

(d) Only parties who filed comments to a direct final rule issued under this section may petition under §190.335 for reconsideration of that direct final rule.

(e) If an adverse comment or notice of intent to file an adverse comment is received, a timely document will be published in the Federal Register advising the public and withdrawing the direct final rule in whole or in part. The Administrator may then incorporate the adverse comment into a subsequent direct final rule or may publish a notice of proposed rulemaking. A notice of proposed rulemaking will provide an opportunity for public comment, generally a minimum of 60 days, and will be processed in accordance with §§190.311-190.329.

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§190.341   Special permits.

(a) What is a special permit? A special permit is an order by which PHMSA waives compliance with one or more of the Federal pipeline safety regulations under the standards set forth in 49 U.S.C. 60118(c) and subject to conditions set forth in the order. A special permit is issued to a pipeline operator (or prospective operator) for specified facilities that are or, absent waiver, would be subject to the regulation.

(b) How do I apply for a special permit? Applications for special permits must be submitted at least 120 days before the requested effective date using any of the following methods:

(1) Direct fax to PHMSA at: 202-366-4566; or

(2) Mail, express mail, or overnight courier to the Associate Administrator for Pipeline Safety, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., East Building, Washington, DC 20590.

(c) What information must be contained in the application? Applications must contain the following information:

(1) The name, mailing address, and telephone number of the applicant and whether the applicant is an operator;

(2) A detailed description of the pipeline facilities for which the special permit is sought, including:

(i) The beginning and ending points of the pipeline mileage to be covered and the Counties and States in which it is located;

(ii) Whether the pipeline is interstate or intrastate and a general description of the right-of-way including proximity of the affected segments to populated areas and unusually sensitive areas;

(iii) Relevant pipeline design and construction information including the year of installation, the material, grade, diameter, wall thickness, and coating type; and

(iv) Relevant operating information including operating pressure, leak history, and most recent testing or assessment results;

(3) A list of the specific regulation(s) from which the applicant seeks relief;

(4) An explanation of the unique circumstances that the applicant believes make the applicability of that regulation or standard (or portion thereof) unnecessary or inappropriate for its facility;

(5) A description of any measures or activities the applicant proposes to undertake as an alternative to compliance with the relevant regulation, including an explanation of how such measures will mitigate any safety or environmental risks;

(6) A description of any positive or negative impacts on affected stakeholders and a statement indicating how operating the pipeline pursuant to a special permit would be in the public interest;

(7) A certification that operation of the applicant's pipeline under the requested special permit would not be inconsistent with pipeline safety;

(8) Any other information PHMSA may need to process the application including environmental analysis where necessary.

(d) How does PHMSA handle special permit applications?—(1) Public notice. Upon receipt of an application or renewal of a special permit, PHMSA will provide notice to the public of its intent to consider the application and invite comment. In addition, PHMSA may consult with other Federal agencies before granting or denying an application or renewal on matters that PHMSA believes may have significance for proceedings under their areas of responsibility.

(2) Grants, renewals, and denials. If the Associate Administrator determines that the application complies with the requirements of this section and that the waiver of the relevant regulation or standard is not inconsistent with pipeline safety, the Associate Administrator may grant the application, in whole or in part, for a period of time from the date granted. Conditions may be imposed on the grant if the Associate Administrator concludes they are necessary to assure safety, environmental protection, or are otherwise in the public interest. If the Associate Administrator determines that the application does not comply with the requirements of this section or that a waiver is not justified, the application will be denied. Whenever the Associate Administrator grants or denies an application, notice of the decision will be provided to the applicant. PHMSA will post all special permits on its Web site at http://www.phmsa.dot.gov/.

(e) How does PHMSA handle special permit renewals? (1) The grantee of the special permit must apply for a renewal of the permit 180 days prior to the permit expiration.

(2) If, at least 180 days before an existing special permit expires the holder files an application for renewal that is complete and conforms to the requirements of this section, the special permit will not expire until final administrative action on the application for renewal has been taken:

(i) Direct fax to PHMSA at: 202-366-4566; or

(ii) Express mail, or overnight courier to the Associate Administrator for Pipeline Safety, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

(f) What information must be included in the renewal application? (1) The renewal application must include a copy of the original special permit, the docket number on the special permit, and the following information as applicable:

(i) A summary report in accordance with the requirements of the original special permit including verification that the grantee's operations and maintenance plan (O&M Plan) is consistent with the conditions of the special permit;

(ii) Name, mailing address and telephone number of the special permit grantee;

(iii) Location of special permit—areas on the pipeline where the special permit is applicable including: Diameter, mile posts, county, and state;

(iv) Applicable usage of the special permit—original and future; and

(v) Data for the special permit segment and area identified in the special permit as needing additional inspections to include, as applicable:

(A) Pipe attributes: Pipe diameter, wall thickness, grade, seam type; and pipe coating including girth weld coating;

(B) Operating Pressure: Maximum allowable operating pressure (MAOP); class location (including boundaries on aerial photography);

(C) High Consequence Areas (HCAs): HCA boundaries on aerial photography;

(D) Material Properties: Pipeline material documentation for all pipe, fittings, flanges, and any other facilities included in the special permit. Material documentation must include: Yield strength, tensile strength, chemical composition, wall thickness, and seam type;

(E) Test Pressure: Hydrostatic test pressure and date including pressure and temperature charts and logs and any known test failures or leaks;

(F) In-line inspection (ILI): Summary of ILI survey results from all ILI tools used on the special permit segments during the previous five years or latest ILI survey result;

(G) Integrity Data and Integration: The following information, as applicable, for the past five (5) years: Hydrostatic test pressure including any known test failures or leaks; casings(any shorts); any in-service ruptures or leaks; close interval survey (CIS) surveys; depth of cover surveys; rectifier readings; test point survey readings; alternating current/direct current (AC/DC) interference surveys; pipe coating surveys; pipe coating and anomaly evaluations from pipe excavations; stress corrosion cracking (SCC), selective seam weld corrosion (SSWC) and hard spot excavations and findings; and pipe exposures from encroachments;

(H) In-service: Any in-service ruptures or leaks including repair type and failure investigation findings; and

(I) Aerial Photography: Special permit segment and special permit inspection area, if applicable.

(2) PHMSA may request additional operational, integrity or environmental assessment information prior to granting any request for special permit renewal.

(3) The existing special permit will remain in effect until PHMSA acts on the application for renewal by granting or denying the request.

(g) Can a special permit be requested on an emergency basis? Yes. PHMSA may grant an application for an emergency special permit without notice and comment or hearing if the Associate Administrator determines that such action is in the public interest, is not inconsistent with pipeline safety, and is necessary to address an actual or impending emergency involving pipeline transportation. For purposes of this section, an emergency event may be local, regional, or national in scope and includes significant fuel supply disruptions and natural or manmade disasters such as hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, terrorist acts, biological outbreaks, releases of dangerous radiological, chemical, or biological materials, war-related activities, or other similar events. PHMSA will determine on a case-by-case basis what duration is necessary to address the emergency. However, as required by statute, no emergency special permit may be issued for a period of more than 60 days. Each emergency special permit will automatically expire on the date specified in the permit. Emergency special permits may be renewed upon application to PHMSA only after notice and opportunity for a hearing on the renewal.

(h) How do I apply for an emergency special permit? Applications for emergency special permits may be submitted to PHMSA using any of the following methods:

(1) Direct fax to the Crisis Management Center at: 202-366-3768;

(2) Direct e-mail to PHMSA at: phmsa.pipeline-emergencyspecpermit@dot.gov; or

(3) Express mail/overnight courier to the Associate Administrator for Pipeline Safety, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., East Building, Washington, DC 20590.

(i) What must be contained in an application for an emergency special permit? In addition to the information required under paragraph (c) of this section, applications for emergency special permits must include:

(1) An explanation of the actual or impending emergency and how the applicant is affected;

(2) A citation of the regulations that are implicated and the specific reasons the permit is necessary to address the emergency (e.g., lack of accessibility, damaged equipment, insufficient manpower);

(3) A statement indicating how operating the pipeline pursuant to an emergency special permit is in the public interest (e.g., continuity of service, service restoration);

(4) A description of any proposed alternatives to compliance with the regulation (e.g., additional inspections and tests, shortened reassessment intervals); and

(5) A description of any measures to be taken after the emergency situation or permit expires—whichever comes first—to confirm long-term operational reliability of the pipeline facility.

Note to paragraph (g): If PHMSA determines that handling of the application on an emergency basis is not warranted, PHMSA will notify the applicant and process the application under normal special permit procedures of this section.

(j) In what circumstances will PHMSA revoke, suspend, or modify a special permit? (1) PHMSA may revoke, suspend, or modify a special permit on a finding that:

(i) Intervening changes in Federal law mandate revocation, suspension, or modification of the special permit;

(ii) Based on a material change in conditions or circumstances, continued adherence to the terms of the special permit would be inconsistent with safety;

(iii) The application contained inaccurate or incomplete information, and the special permit would not have been granted had the application been accurate and complete;

(iv) The application contained deliberately inaccurate or incomplete information; or

(v) The holder has failed to comply with any material term or condition of the special permit.

(2) Except as provided in paragraph (h)(3) of this section, before a special permit is modified, suspended or revoked, PHMSA will notify the holder in writing of the proposed action and the reasons for it, and provide an opportunity to show cause why the proposed action should not be taken.

(i) The holder may file a written response that shows cause why the proposed action should not be taken within 30 days of receipt of notice of the proposed action.

(ii) After considering the holder's written response, or after 30 days have passed without response since receipt of the notice, PHMSA will notify the holder in writing of the final decision with a brief statement of reasons.

(3) If necessary to avoid a risk of significant harm to persons, property, or the environment, PHMSA may in the notification declare the proposed action immediately effective.

(4) Unless otherwise specified, the terms and conditions of a corrective action order, compliance order, or other order applicable to a pipeline facility covered by a special permit will take precedence over the terms of the special permit.

(5) A special permit holder may seek reconsideration of a decision under paragraph (h) of this section as provided in paragraph (i) of this section.

(k) Can a denial of a request for a special permit or a revocation of an existing special permit be appealed? Reconsideration of the denial of an application for a special permit or a revocation of an existing special permit may be sought by petition to the Associate Administrator. Petitions for reconsideration must be received by PHMSA within 20 calendar days of the notice of the grant or denial and must contain a brief statement of the issue and an explanation of why the petitioner believes that the decision being appealed is not in the public interest. The Associate Administrator may grant or deny, in whole or in part, any petition for reconsideration without further proceedings. The Associate Administrator's decision is the final administrative action.

(l) Are documents related to an application for a special permit available for public inspection? Documents related to an application, including the application itself, are available for public inspection on regulations.gov or the Docket Operations Facility to the extent such documents do not include information exempt from public disclosure under 5 U.S.C. 552(b). Applicants may request confidential treatment under part 7 of this title.

(m) Am I subject to enforcement action for non-compliance with the terms and conditions of a special permit? Yes. PHMSA inspects for compliance with the terms and conditions of special permits and if a probable violation is identified, PHMSA will initiate one or more of the enforcement actions under subpart B of this part.

[73 FR 16568, Mar. 28, 2008, as amended at 74 FR 2893, Jan. 16, 2009; Amdt. 190-16, 78 FR 58914, Sept. 25, 2013; Amdt. 190-19, 82 FR 7995, Jan. 23, 2017]

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§190.343   Information made available to the public and request for protection of confidential commercial information.

When you submit information to PHMSA during a rulemaking proceeding, as part of your application for special permit or renewal, or for any other reason, we may make that information publicly available unless you ask that we keep the information confidential.

(a) Asking for protection of confidential commercial information. You may ask us to give confidential treatment to information you give to the agency by taking the following steps:

(1) Mark “confidential” on each page of the original document you would like to keep confidential.

(2) Send us, along with the original document, a second copy of the original document with the confidential commercial information deleted.

(3) Explain why the information you are submitting is confidential commercial information.

(b) PHMSA decision. PHMSA will treat as confidential the information that you submitted in accordance with this section, unless we notify you otherwise. If PHMSA decides to disclose the information, PHMSA will review your request to protect confidential commercial information under the criteria set forth in the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552, including following the consultation procedures set out in the Departmental FOIA regulations, 49 CFR 7.29. If PHMSA decides to disclose the information over your objections, we will notify you in writing at least five business days before the intended disclosure date.

[Amdt. 190-19, 82 FR 7995, Jan. 23, 2017]

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